In this episode we chat with Chef Jeff David From Salt lake City Utah. Chef Jeff  cooks with the competitive cook team Smoke Ain’t No Joke in Utah. He has a cooking passion second to none. He once had a cooking gig so large that the grease from his cook started a huge fire that brought the fire department to his backyard. Chef Jeff also love to cook that spicy Cajun food,YUM.

Jeffrey David Bio

In 2009 I decided that I really wanted to re-ignite my love of cooking. It had been a decade since I had returned from the Philippines—the place where I fell in love with food. I registered for cooking classes at Sur La Table & in 2010, found the “Fine Art of Cooking” series at Orson Gygi taught by Chef Shawn Bucher. This course taught me the fundamentals of cooking. It’s not a “follow this recipe” class but a foundation on how to be a fabulous cook. I am not a great recipe follower so this really fit. I have since taken other classes, gleaned any knowledge I can along the way and have done a great deal of my own experimenting.

Some of those additional classes that I took were grilling and BBQ. It was more of a basic introduction but it lit a spark within me. In June, 2012, my wife bought m

e a smoker for my birthday. It was time to be thrown into the fire—literally and figuratively. My In-Laws had given me some beef ribs. I knew nothing other than to put them on the smoker and guess when they were done. I did figure out when they were done, and they were absolutely awful; there are few times in my life where I have tasted meat that bad. Oh how humility can help us grow.

I joined some online forums and somehow connected with KCBS—Kansas City Barbeque Society. They were having a competition and judging class in Mesquite, NV—only 330 miles from my home. I signed up and headed South. That four hour class was amazing. The irony was not lost on me however that I was now certified to judge items which I had never cooked myself.

Then I began cooking BBQ and began cooking it often. There were ribs, pork, brisket, chicken, turkeys. I was quickly becoming the chef for all family gathering, friend reunions, neighborhood block parties, church activities, holidays, and the like. It was fun, it was busy.

In 2014, I was able to connect with Rub Bagby of Swamp Boys BBQ in Winter Haven, FL. Rub has quite the BBQ resume and is a Grand Champion from the Jack Daniels Invitational. He came to Salt Lake City to compete, and to teach a class. I never knew how awesome meat could be until I took that two-day intensive.

I find it interesting how someone, such as myself, with an A-Type personality, can be drawn and excel at cooking meats that can take up to 12 hours. It is the process that I love as food is my art.

2016 was a busy year and a lot of “life” happened. I didn’t BBQ much and honestly felt stagnant. In early 2017, I made the decision to be more proactive; I had to take things to the next level. That is when I made my BBQ Heave of Desperation.

The “heave of desperation” that I mentioned was placing the following ad on the Utah BBQ Association’s Facebook Page: “I’m looking to work with a BBQ team to help in anyway that I can. I have been doing backyard BBQ for 5 years now and want to take things to the next level. Will work long hours for little or no pay.”

Links and resources mentioned in today’s show:


Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto

Real Cajun 

In a Cajun Kitchen

Chef Jeff’s Facebook Page:

Hometown Slop

Chef Jeff’s Webpage:

Chef Jeff’s favorite bacon fatty recipe:


Thanks for listening

Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media button you see at the bottom of the post.

Also please leave an honest review Learning Backyard BBQ on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions, head over to and click into the AskMike section and leave me a voicemail message. I will get right back to you as soon as I can.

And finally, don’t forget to click below and subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

Until next time!